Romelu Lukaku has hailed the influence Didier Drogba has had on his development, noting he had a “special relationship” with the former Chelsea striker.
The Belgian joined Chelsea from Anderlecht in 2011 and spent the season training with Drogba, who went on to win the Champions League that year.
Lukaku has since moved on – first to Everton, then to Manchester United – but remains in close contact with the Ivorian.
Speaking ahead of Belgium’s meeting with Brazil at the World Cup, during which he impressively answered questions in Portuguese, Lukaku was quick to point towards the influence of Drogba.
They say greatness recognises greatness, and such is the case here. Lukaku has Thierry Henry and Drogba – two of the greatest strikers the Premier League has ever seen – guiding him and mentoring him through this stage of his career.
They see the talent there: the responsibility he takes on the pitch, his movement in the box, the way he uses his sheer power, that natural ability to sniff out chances, his approach to the game and indeed life itself.
If Henry’s influence on Lukaku’s game was exemplified by that movement he displayed in the goal against Japan, Drogba will be the ideal man to teach the Belgian how to best pick his moment – to conserve energy and anticipate when and where the ball will fall in the box.
He has already achieved so much: 100 Premier League goals, on the scoresheet at three major tournaments, leading the line for United. And the scary thing is he’ll only get better.